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Dennis Hissink : August 6th 2003 - 00:28 CET

Small, smaller, smalst, the Minolta DiMAGE Xt

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MinoltaThe new 3.2-megapixel DiMAGE Xt camera has more attractive features packed into an even smaller body that its popular predecessor, the DiMAGE Xi. The camera's sleek, go-anywhere design is the perfect accent to any lifestyle with an understated elegance that blends into all kinds of situations, formal or casual. A new design has cut 5% off the size and 8% off the weight of the DiMAGE Xi. At 85.5 x 67 x 20mm and only 120g, the DiMAGE Xt is the world's thinnest1 compact, planar digital camera with a 3x optical zoom and a start-up time of 1.1 seconds. The secret is Minolta's exclusive folded optical zoom system and a non-extending lens that maintains the camera's 20mm-thin profile while recording or when stored.
The 3X optical zoom, equivalent to a 37-111mm lens in a 35mm camera, is assisted by a 4X digital zoom to provide a seamless 12X zoom range - ideal for capturing sharp images of anything from landscapes to close-ups. The non-extending lens, versatile zoom and compact profile are all ideal "lifestyle elements", making it easy to capture pictures of family and friends without intruding on the spontaneity of the moment.

A high-precision electro-optical system and Minolta's image-processing technology, CxProcess, work together to maximise image quality. A CCD with 3.2 million effective pixels creates high-resolution images from which B4-size 150dpi or A5-size photo-quality prints can be produced. CxProcess controls image sharpness, colour and contrast while minimising noise to produced vivid, natural pictures. Dark noise, an ever-present problem in electronic systems when images taken with long exposures end up looking grainy or sandy, is combated by a selectable noise-reduction function that automatically activates for exposures of one second or longer. The DiMAGE Xt is not just a still camera. New features and increased performance also make it a flexible audio and video recording tool. Extended Recording (XR) movie processing allows digital video to be captured with accompanying audio recordings and the Xt can also be used a remote camera for video conferencing. What's more, if an image created by the DiMAGE Xt is to be transmitted by e-mail, a special copy function is available to resize a recorded still image for attachment to an e-mail message.

As befits its spectacularly convenient size, the DiMAGE Xt has a number of practical new features. Its charger can recharge the battery while it is still in the camera, charge a single spare battery by itself and double as a camera stand when the Xt is used for self-portraits, as a remote camera or when connected (via the USB cable) to a computer. The Xt is supported by Seiko Epson USB DIRECT-PRINT, which allows images to be printed directly from the camera to a compatible printer via the USB cable. Last but not least, a waterproof Marine Case complements the Xt's ultra-portable profile by equipping it for use at up to depths of 30 m or the tops of rugged peaks. Taking advantage of the Xt's ultra-slim profile, the Case is easy to store in a buoyancy vest or daypack - extreme usability from an extremely versatile digital camera designed for any kind of lifestyle and any kind of place.

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